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December 2019

Students Are Invited To Page At Statehouse

Students interested in learning more about state government are encouraged to participate in the Indiana House Page Program during the upcoming 2020 legislative session.

Hoosiers ages 13 to 18 can spend a day at the Statehouse in Indianapolis assisting House legislators and staff and touring government offices. Pages experience how the Indiana legislature works, including discussions on various proposals for new laws.

Indiana’s 2020 legislative session begins Monday, Jan. 6, and must conclude by mid-March. Pages can pick available dates during that timeframe. Openings fill quickly, so students are encouraged to apply soon. Participants receive an excused absence from school, and groups can participate together. Please note that students are responsible for their own transportation.

For more information and to apply for the Indiana House Page Program, visit IndianaHouseRepublicans.com/PageProgram2020 or call 800-382-9841.

Heating Assistance Available

With the temperatures dropping, the cost of heating and electric bills tend to rise. This increased cost can be overwhelming for some families throughout the state. Low-income Hoosiers who need help paying their heating bills this winter can apply for benefits through the Energy Assistance Program.

This federally funded program is a one-time benefit that can help with the high cost of home energy, and offers support to those about to be disconnected. The benefit does not cover all heating and electric costs, so those planning to take advantage of this assistance should continue paying their bills regularly. Some Hoosiers may even qualify for an additional benefit if all utility bills are paid on time.

Applications for heating benefits are being accepted now through May. Click here for eligibility requirements and more information.

Many utility companies around Indiana also offer resources to assist low-income customers. Click here to learn more about these companies and other organizations assisting Hoosiers with their heating bills.

Those not sure who to contact about heating assistance or in need of other resources should call 2-1-1, a free and confidential service available 24/7 that helps Hoosiers find local resources.

Hoosiers can also try cost-saving energy tips like letting natural light in to help heat the house, covering drafty windows and keeping the fireplace damper closed when a fire is not burning.

Don’t Get Scammed This Holiday Season

Online shopping is more popular than ever for its convenience, but comes with inherent pitfalls. Fortunately, most can be avoided. That’s why it is so important to make sure you are taking precautions when buying this holiday season.

Always protect personal information like your name, address and credit/debit card numbers by ensuring you are on a secure website. The easiest way to do that is to make sure the letter “S” appears at the end of HTTP in the URL code, and avoid using public Wi-Fi when making online purchases.

Be sure to look at the fine print to ensure you’re purchasing exactly what you want. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers use email to convince you they are from a reputable retailer, but always check the store’s official site to confirm it is the real deal. If purchasing gift cards, know the terms and the expiration date.

After buying online, it is likely those purchases will be delivered to your home. Most companies now offer notifications as to when your package arrives, and you can track the process for an approximate delivery time and date. But if you are unable to be at home, see if the retailer has an in-store pick up to ensure your items are not stolen. Work with a trusted neighbor or family member to watch each other’s properties and pick up delivered packages as soon as possible

When shopping at traditional retail stores, do not be an easy target for theft. Conceal your purchases in the trunk of a car or bring a blanket to cover them up if stored inside your vehicle.

Secure your wallet and cash at all times while out shopping, and make sure to check bank and credit card statements in a timely fashion to ensure there are no surprise or unnecessary charges. Use a credit card where possible as it is easier to dispute a charge than with a debit card.

Despite our finest efforts, bad actors are sometimes able to get the best of us. If you believe you are a victim of a scam, please file a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. A consumer complaint can be filed at IndianaConsumer.com or call 1-800-382-5516.

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